The Makings of Your Spa Monopoly


What if I told you the key to your success has to do with monopoly? You’d immediately think of the board game, and you wouldn’t be far off. You don’t have to buy four railroads, establish hotels and own your own utility for this plan, but you do need to pass go, be strategic and employ the right players. A monopoly will form when you become so great that no other business in your area can offer what you do. When you’ve been successful at creating your monopoly, you can define the perfect market price and schedule combination that maximizes your profits and personal interests. If you’re looking for personal growth and wanting to seek ways to become the best you can be, read on.

Don’t Compare

It is human nature to measure the success of our personal lives, careers and accomplishments by comparing ourselves to other people. However, are other people the right unit of measurement for our own success? Let me tell you a secret. The grass isn’t always greener over there; the grass is greener where you water it. Your energy is your lifeline to all success in life. How you use this energy is up to you. Consistently worrying about what other people are doing is a draining (and a surefire) way to stunt your own personal business growth, leaving nothing left for you to give to yourself. Instead, give your business your energy, time and focus, and you’ll be closer to getting to where you want to be. Michelangelo said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it
is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” It is up to you to decide how you want to carve your own block of stone.

Comparing yourself to other estheticians or spa owners is a battle you will not win—and not because you’re not fabulous enough—you are. It is because you’re your own worst enemy. The only comparing that is productive is the comparison of the person you are today with the person you’ve been in the past. Instead of being so hard on ourselves, because behavior will only foster insecurities, let’s focus on what we can do to build a career you’re proud of. With the veneer of social media, reams of perfect selfies and self-serving celebratory posts are often the norm. What does that mean to you? A highlight reel of someone else’s spa business is just that—highlights. You simply cannot compare your real life experiences with someone else’s highlight reel.

Create a Dream Board

For the tactile, flip through magazines and clip pictures and phrases that resonate with you. Glue them on a poster board or journal. For the techies, consider using a virtual vision board like Pinterest. Either way, creating a visualization of your goals, motivators, feelings and experiences you seek to accomplish in your career (and/or personal life) is a prerequisite in achieving what you want. The action of doing this creates a tangible display that you can reference and revisit as you grow. Remember, this board is to serve as a road map for you. Keep it positive and inspiring—and look at it often.

Find a Mentor

Whether you look to someone in the spa industry, a business coach or another successful professional you admire, getting hooked up with a person that you can bounce ideas off of and learn from can be a game changer for your own business and professional growth. Whenever you feel stuck, lost or in need of another opinion on a business decision, a mentor is a great ally to have in your corner.

Keep Good Company

One of the most profound morals from Aesop’s Fables is, “You are known by the company you keep,” and often it is taken a step further and is said, “You are only as good as the company you keep.” If you are able to surround yourself with smart, motivated and like-minded individuals—like those traits you envy from competition—the likelihood that you’ll stay motivated and educated is higher. Our spa community is smaller than you may realize. Let’s face it, we need each other for support, troubleshooting and brainstorming. If you write off every person in your area as competition, you slam the door in your own face for growth, networking and comraderie…and nobody wins.

Attend a Tradeshow

Coast to coast, there are tradeshows happening year-round for skin care professionals. From industry leaders as sounding boards, to top notch educational classes, and rows and rows of experienced vendors and manufacturers, tradeshows have all the tricks of the trade to get you back on track. You can write off your investment to attend, so make a commitment to yourself and budget each year to attend one. You’ll leave feeling motivated, refreshed and ready to take on the next challenge of business ownership…and maybe even make a few new friends, too. Skin Inc. hosts three annual Face and Body conventions in Atlanta, Chicago and San Jose. For dates and more information, visit

Reserve Your Right to Refuse Service(s)

We all have something at which we excel. Assess your strengths and passion, and allow them to collide. Find whatever makes you get up in the morning excited to be an esthetician or spa owner and hone in on the skills necessary to be extremely successful at it. Now is the time to stop trying to serve all audiences and demographics. Stop trying to offer every single treatment you’ve ever learned. Remove the treatments on your menu you don’t enjoy doing. Stop buying every piece of equipment that makes headlines in print and tradeshows. You don’t have to have it all; but you need to be good at what you do. Now is the time for you to exercise your right to refuse all those extra services that aren’t serving you or helping you make money.

Name Your Niche

If you get up in the morning excited about pustules and papules, pop yourself right into the acne market. If you can fix, shape and define even the most discerning unibrows, consider yourself a brow expert and center your business around a brow bar. If your clients fuel your energy, make a commitment to become the most customer-centric spa in your region. Remember that like attracts like, and the action of you putting out what you want into the universe is a way to get the same type of clients you want back.

Other ideas for focus and passion:

  • Anti-Aging Treatments
  • Eyelash Extensions
  • Men’s Market
  • Oncology Esthetics
  • Organic Ingredients/Holistic Wellness
  • Speed Waxing/Brazilians
  • Spray Tanning

Branding Your Brand

Once you’ve decided what your primary focus is, start creating a branding strategy around this concept. If you’re really into the men’s market, your business name, logo, website, business cards, spa menu and treatment room should all be reflective of the demographic you want to attract. Whether that’s a rustic, woodsy feeling, or a gentleman’s polished and proper look, design your brand around this and repeat it everywhere there’s a marketing opportunity.

Court Your Competition

Instead of making your city a battleground with price wars, smear campaigns and client snatching, consider courting your competition for friendship and networking. Try introducing yourself and asking them to lunch or inviting them to coffee. While you don’t have to show them your whole hand, chances are they aren’t as awful as you think they are. Once this practical relationship is built, you can bounce ideas off each other, share struggles, attend networking events together, and even send each other referrals. We can’t be everything to everyone, so if you two have different specialties, agree to send clients each other’s way. Not only will this help discourage any enmity, but it will also position you as a trusted source in your community for all things skin care and perhaps make you a prime candidate for acquiring their business, should they decide to retire or stop practicing.

Lauren Snow

Lauren Snow is a licensed esthetician and director of membership for Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP). Snow creates ASCP’s business brand strategies, marketing campaigns and membership collateral. Snow is also a public speaker whose work can be found in various industry trade publications.

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